New Delhi: As part of its strategy to reach
out to defence and paramilitary personnel, BJP today said it
will celebrate Kargil Victory Day on July 26 nationwide by
taking out processions, candle-light vigils and paying
tributes to the martyrs.
"BJP President Nitin Gadkari will lead senior party
leaders in paying respect at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate on
July 26. Several senior party leaders will head processions
and hold programmes across the country," BJP general secretary
Vijay Goel said.
BJP, which has always accused Congress-led UPA of being
soft on internal security and cross-border terrorism, wants to
send across a message to the masses by celebrating victory
over Pakistan during the Kargil war that took place under NDA
regime, party sources said.
While the party holds functions on July 26 every year,
these are always low-key and confined to Delhi and a few other
cities. However, this year the events will be held across the
country where memorials were built or in the native places of
soldiers killed during the Kargil war, the sources said.
527 defence personnel laid down their lives in the 74-day
Kargil war fought against Pakistan in 1999.
"The aim of these programmes is not only to express
gratitude towards the martyrs, but also to counter attempts by
separatists, terrorists and Naxals to break the confidence of
defence and security forces fighting in Kashmir, North-East
and other parts of the country," Goel said.
The main opposition held a meeting of its top brass
yesterday to discuss how to reach out to the families of
paramilitary and defence personnel killed in Maoist and
"Our MPs will visit the homes of those personnel who are
killed in such attacks. While this has been done in the recent
past, including leaders visiting those killed in the Dantewada
and other Naxal attacks, the plan is to institutionalise this
practice," a senior BJP leader added.
MPs will be assigned states and constituencies which they
will have to visit to meet family members of those killed by
militants and Maoists, the sources said.
With its nationalist agenda and rhetoric against UPA`s
"soft" attitude towards terrorists, separatists and Naxals,
BJP has tried to win over the defence personnel in the past as
BJP had also raised the one-rank-one-pension issue in
Parliament to lend support to retired defence personnel.